With a simpler ad product now established, Facebook is focused on giving advertisers an easier, more effective way to reach the right people on its platform. Yesterday the company announced that its improved Core Audiences targeting options — the targeting features built into all of its ad buying interfaces — will begin rolling out.

Targeting is a critical component of advertising, and Facebook isn’t without options. The social network has already offered some pretty granular targeting, but now it’s going even deeper. This revamp will allow you to reach precise audiences based on four main targeting types: location, demographic, interests, and behaviors.

Additionally, Facebook is also adding Partner Categories to the Ads Create Tool so that brands and local businesses can use this targeting option. Previously only available in Power Editor, Partner Categories offer marketers the ability to build audiences around offline actions. It seems that this will only be available to people if you reside in the U.S.

Let’s take a closer look at the four targeting types that make up Core Audiences.


Let’s say a retailer wants to show ads to people that live near its brick-and-mortar locations. With flexible location targeting, you can build campaigns around any combination of geographies: country and city, country and state, state and city, state and ZIP code, and so on.

Facebook also made it easier to exclude certain areas within cities, states, or countries. For example, the same retailer can target Chicago, except 60634, or the UK, excluding Cambridge.


Core Audiences features more values for relationship status as well as timely changes in life events, like getting engaged or married. For example, a flower shop can target people who have recently declared they’re in a relationship. Facebook has also added more flexibility, allowing targeting for people that have gotten engaged or married in the past year, or the last three or six months.

Additionally, Core Audiences also covers information like workplace and job title, and offers expanded information about education. So for example, a recruiter looking to advertise to associate attorneys at law firms in New York can now do so.


Facebook has simplified the way to reach people based specifically on their interests. The social network did this by refining its interest-based targeting segments so that each has one simple meaning. So rather than having multiple targeting options like broad categories and keywords, the new methodology allows you to simply choose one segment.

For example, if you want to reach baseball fans, just choose “baseball” as your targeting segment. Doing so will pull in all the people have have liked or expressed baseball-related topics on Facebook.


This part of Core Audiences is a new targeting option which includes Partner Categories. Here you’ll have the ability to target campaigns to people based on things they purchase and what devices they use. As an example, let’s say you want to reach people interested in music that use iPhones. You’ll use behaviors as part of creating your target audience.

As a marketer, getting the right message in front of the right people at the right time is key. Successful execution of this can help you get more traffic for your website and increased sales. As you move forward with your Facebook ad campaigns, keep these Core Audiences in mind. If you’re looking for more advanced options, check out why Custom Audiences are a must-have tool for marketers.

[Via: Inside Facebook, Image credit: Cliff (Jasper Johns)]